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Muslim in cathedral reportedly recites Quran verse that Christ isn't God's son — and folks are upset

A Muslim student reads from the Quran at St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland, during Epiphany celebration. (Image source: YouTube screen cap)

St. Mary's Episcopal Cathedral in Glasgow, Scotland, invited Muslims to its recent celebration of Epiphany, which marks the revelation of Christ's deity through the wise men's visit to the infant Jesus.

The cathedral provost, the Very Rev. Kelvin Holdsworth, said the congregation "listened with interest to the story that Muslims tell of the annunciation of Jesus in the Qur’an."

But what one Muslim student reportedly recited during the service has many up in arms.

Madinah Javed stood at the lectern and read in Arabic from the chapter of Maryam, or Mary, which tells the story of the birth of Christ, BBC News reported. But Javed reportedly went beyond the allocated passage translated in the service sheet and read a verse from the chapter saying Jesus isn't God's son, Christian Today said.

Holdsworth isn't speaking about the matter, Christian Today reported. The BBC said he declined to comment when asked if he knew what the Quran verse specifically said about Jesus. The cathedral on Thursday didn't immediately reply to TheBlaze's request for comment.

St. Mary's Cathedral (Image source: YouTube screen cap)

But the Siaset Daily reported that the recitation included verse 35 in the Quran chapter and translated it as: "It is not befitting to Allah that He should take to Himself anyone as son, Holy is He. When He decrees anything, thus then He says to it, 'Be' it becomes at once." The Siaset Daily's story also included video of the recitation.

While the video was taken down from YouTube on Thursday afternoon, a version remained on Twitter:

Former Bishop of Rochester, the Right Rev. Michael Nazir-Ali, told BBC News the clergy responsible should be disciplined for letting a Quran reading happen in the cathedral in the first place.

"Christians should know what their fellow citizens believe and this can include reading the Koran for themselves, whether in the original or in translation. This is not, however, the same thing as having it read in Church in the context of public worship," Nazir-Ali told the outlet. "The authorities of the Scottish Episcopal Church should immediately repudiate this ill-advised invitation and exercise appropriate discipline for those involved."

The Rev. Dr. Gavin Ashenden, chaplain to the Queen, called for Holdsworth to apologize.

"Some people will wonder if he has sufficient theological astuteness to remain in such a responsible office in times as fraught as these?" Ashenden wrote. "Our interfaith relations require both integrity and competence. The strategy in Glasgow appears to have been short of both."

The cathedral said Thursday it has "received received a number of offensive messages" about the matter and has reported them to police.

Holdsworth wrote in a statement about the Quran recitation that "such readings have happened a number of times in the past in this and in other churches and have led to deepening friendships locally, to greater awareness of the things we hold in common and to dialogue about the ways in which we differ."

As for St. Mary's teachings, the cathedral defines itself as "open, inclusive [and] welcoming." In a news video posted to YouTube in 2015, Holdsworth said "as a priest who's known to be gay himself and has spoken out in favor of gay marriage and been part of the campaign, I'm in touch with quite a few people" in regard to same-sex marriages.

This story has been updated.

(H/T: Mad World News)

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